Candidates took the gloves off during SLO County supervisor debate

January 19, 2020

Stacy Korsgaden and Adam Hill

By CCT STAFF

Two candidates with sharp contrasts; a focus on social services and the economy; and personal jabs. These were some of the notable moments at Wednesday’s San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors District 3 debate.

Incumbent Supervisor Adam Hill supported raising fees and taxes in order to address issues with homelessness, mental health, housing and roads. In contrast, candidate Stacy Korsgaden promoted lowering fees, monitoring spending, and encouraging businesses that drive the economy.

Forum questions:

How do you stop push back against proposed homeless services centers or shelters, like plans to transform the Hillside Church in Grover Beach into housing for the homeless?

Korsgaden said the Hillside Baptist Church homeless center debacle was caused because of a failure to properly communicate with neighbors and church congregants. She also pointed out that under Hill’s leadership, the number of homeless in the county has increased, saying it is time for new leadership.

Hill said he wants to work with service providers and local nonprofits to reduce homelessness. Under his leadership, Hill said the county is spending more money and has more services than ever before. Hill did not directly address the issues with the Hillside Baptist Church property.

In March 2019, the SLO County Board of Supervisor voted to temporarily raise housing fees to support the construction of low cost housing. What should the county’s next step be?

Hill noted his support for inclusionary housing fees, which has been the county’s only funding source for affordable housing. He pointed out a need to find a dedicated funding source, like more fees on vacation homes and secondary homes.

Hill then said the only path to affordable housing is to have others pay for high density housing. Hill wants goverment to financially support nonprofits, which build low-cost apartment complexes.

Korsgaden disagreed with Hill’s plan to raise housing construction costs in order to build more homes. Instead, Korsgaden said that by lowering fees on low-cost housing, more homes can be built.

“Governments do not build houses, contractors build houses,” Korsgaden said.

Does the SLO County Air Pollution Control District Board need to do more to address the dust issue at the Oceano Dunes?

Korsgaden noted the board’s responsibility for public health and a strong economy. She suggested looking at other options to reduce blowing dust, rather than shutting down recreation at the Oceano Dunes. With Diablo Canyon closing, the county needs to protect local jobs.

Hill called the Oceano Dunes a disgrace. He bragged that he has done more for the economy than anyone else on the SLO County Board of Supervisors. Hill said that health is the most important thing, and that economics is a false choice.

What should the county’s priorities be for economic development at Diablo Canyon after the power plant closes?

Hill wants to reserve the land for public use, saying it is some of the most beautiful land in the state. However, decommissioning will take 10 years. Hill said there in no way to offset the loss of jobs at Diablo Canyon.

“Well, she will not be opening an OHV park out there, cause that would really be in conflict with this community’s interests,” Hill snapped. “What she is saying, is just not based on fact.”

Korsgaden argued the board should have worked to help Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant remain licensed. Because of the “huge economic loss to our county,” she wants the county to promote economically viable projects at Diablo Canyon in addition to a public park area.

What critiques do you have on the current version of the county’s cannabis regulations?

Korsgaden said cannabis is now a legal crop that can bring revenue to the county. However, Korsgaden wants the county only allow cultivation in areas that do not harm other crops or neighbors.

Hill admitted the current board of supervisors has made a mess of cannabis management. He then blamed the conservative board majority. He argued that neighbors already have the ability to voice their concerns.

“We are making it very difficult for the cannabis industry to survive,” Hill said.

Is there a need to do an update to the general plan before allowing more growth in Avila Beach?

Hill said the county has been working on an update to the Avila Beach plan for about five years. And while some residents want to block local events, the Coastal Act says we have to share the coast with everyone; it is a public resource.

Korsgaden also supported events at the Avila Beach Resort. She found, however, that residents do not believe their concerns are being heard. She suggests a focus on finding remedies to traffic issues.

How do you move beyond the divisiveness and contentious attitudes at the Board of Supervisors in order to get things done?

Korsgaden said this is not a partisan job, but an issue job. She noted that people in the community have voiced concerns about Hill’s bullying and scare tactics.

“We have someone in that sandbox who is throwing sand and misbehaving,” Korsgaden said. “I am asking the community to pluck that person out of the sandbox and put me in.”

Hill argued that it is not important if you like someone’s behavior, it is about standing up for what’s right. He then blamed the board majority for contention on the board.

“What Stacy is not understanding, is that her party is in the majority,” Hill said. “It is her party and allies that have been addicted to dysfunction.”

What do you see as the county’s role regarding mental health issues and substance abuse issues?

Hill noted that mental health and substance abuse issues are related to homelessness, “a failure in our goverment for 50 years.” He touted the opening of a crisis stabilization unit during his time on the board, and said that more monies need to be spent on these issues.

Korsgaden said the county has diverted funding earmarked for treating mental illness into reserves. She wants the county to properly use the funding for the benefit of residents.


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ByteMaker

South county really needs to unite and vote this corrupt bully out of office. Unfortunately, he has south San Luis Obispo hoodwinked into thinking he is a performer and we know how most of SLO leans. Do whatever you can to get Stacy’s name out there and vote for her! Good luck Stacy!


seeking truth

Adam Hill is corrupt. This guy lies and take no responsibility for his actions. He had no solutions just blame for everyone but himself. Stacy is a Classy lady that offered common sense solutions. I walked into the debate with an open mind and I was quite impressed with Stacy. She has my vote!


obispan

It was pretty boring, I turned it off although it was weird to see Adam Hill behave not like Adam Hill. The 3rd, like the 5th, is SLO Progressives against all reason and residency. It’s like they hate us for being here before them and they want to destroy our quality of life by all means necessary.


Last Individual

Hill said, “support” for inclusionary housing fees, “more fees” on vacation homes and secondary homes, ”have others pay for” high density housing, and later “more monies need to be spent”. These all sound like euphemisms for increasing taxes. Is there any issue that he thinks can be resolved without increased taxes?


Secondary residences actually reduce the housing shortage. Does he mean second homes?


“Inclusionary housing fees” and “low-cost apartment complexes” both sound like euphemisms for ”…have others pay for high density housing”. ”High density housing” sounds like a euphemism for what used to be called “projects” in the inner cities. These do not have such a good reputation for safety, cleanliness, crime, drugs, and on and on. So, let’s put the “project” next to Hill’s house.


Interesting that he doesn’t directly address whether he played any part in a possible conspiracy with a city mayor in what appears to be the attempted theft of a church. Maybe he does have some part in it.


Finally, it seems a little familiar for him to address his opponent as “Stacy”. The article doesn’t say, but maybe she referred to him as “Adam”, but somehow, I doubt it.


I too hope Ms. K can continue to stand up to Hill’s c…chaos.


coronet blue

Anybody but Hill. All his solutions involve raising taxes.


Myself

I see that there is someone running against the little tyrant and this lady looks able to hold her own and seems to have a better understanding of things than the bully does, she talks sense and the bully talks down to people and blames the board for his problems, this should be a interesting race, hill will most likely bully Ms Korsgaden and go off the edge with his rants I hope Ms K can stand up to his crap.


GoneFlyFishing

Get rid of Hill. Send him back to Cal Poly, or better yet, send him back to Jersey.